If you use a real town or city as the setting for you book, it’s important to get it right. Before you write, always:
1. visit the location to learn the streets, the architecture, the landmarks, and the pace and feel of the location;
2. obtain a detailed map of the location for easy reference;
3. talk to the locals to find out what changes might be scheduled for the near future and to get a feel for local issues.
If you’re devising a fictional location, it’s helpful to write a key describing all the elements listed above. This will ensure that you maintain consistency and believability in your location.
In both cases, make a map of the cities and neighborhoods depicted in your novel. In the margins around the map, make lists of pertinent details that will help you remain consistent in your writing. By referring to this references, you will avoid a mistake that will pull the reader out of believing they are a part of the story.